Hiring Process

Written by Serena Berger
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The hiring process isn't particularly mysterious, yet for many people it is the source of great anxiety. The fundamentals are quite simple: craft a resume which succinctly and effectively enumerates your qualifications for a job, and write a cover letter which effectively displays your personality and makes you stand out as an applicant. This will earn you an interview, where you must then display the ability to communicate and show how you would fit into the company where you are seeking employment.

Many people are bothered by the fact that almost every job listing has some element (small, medium, or large) which isn't part of their experience. A job could list multiple requirements, including a level of education, number of years of experience, familiarity with numerous software packages or programming languages, or knowledge of many pieces of hardware. People assume that because these are called requirements, they are unequivocally fixed. If they lack even one, they think they shouldn't bother applying for the position.

This is not the case, however--especially if you truly believe you are right for a job. Employers will almost always offer to train a candidate in a software application or give them a little time or leeway to learn a new skill if the candidate's overall profile seems right for the job. Employers would almost always rather hire someone who is extremely passionate and excited about a job than someone whose qualifications match every item on a checklist but who doesn't display vision, initiative, or excitement.

What to Do when You Lack a Pre-requisite

The key is to find a way to convince the employer to give you an interview if you don't meet the qualifications exactly as they are enumerated in the job listing. Often the person reading resumes will overlook or discard a candidate who doesn't meet the criteria, so you have to follow up somehow in person after you submit the application. Call or go in person, asking to speak to the person who will be reading resumes or viewing applications. Say that you've submitted an application and that you are extremely interested in that specific job. Mention the qualification that you lack, and offer your explanation of why you should be considered anyway. Be brief and professional. You can show your enthusiasm, but do not offer any personal stories or details which force familiarity on the reviewer. If you are truly qualified, this should ultimately yield success.


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